Monday, 27 December 2010

Goose Island Honkers Ale

Goose Island is another of those US breweries which always appears in all those 'best beers in the world' books, and this beer is one of those featured, their 'Honkers ale'.

A 4.2% bottled bitter, this was the only one by Goose Island the shop had but it was worth it.
It pours a lovely creamy head and has an amber colour.
The aroma was a beautiful floral and orange affair, a little bready also.
Its got a good medium creamy body, flavour coats the mouth with fruitiness, a biscuity malt, a good medium amount of bitterness, just right.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Rochefort Trappistes 8

Opened late evening on Christmas day settling down for a movie.
Poured with plenty of fizz but the head goes quickly, i also managed to put in a fair bit of the sediment even though being careful.

Aroma was deep dark fruits, alcohol, peppery.
Taste was a little less overwhelming than expected, but good and yeasty, brown sugar, again pepper that lingers, on a short drying finish.

I'm glad I've tried it, and I'll certainly try the 6 and 10, but its not the most memorable Belgium beer I've had.

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Golden Pint Awards

I was already drafting a 'best of...' but when award winning blogger Mark Dredge provided a template well that made things alot easier. I'll just add in a welsh element just as the Beer Nut added his Irish slant in his great yearly review.

Best UK Draught Beer - Moor 'Revival' - wonderful beer, fresh hoppy and beautifully balanced.
Best Welsh Draught Beer - Not sure about this, i've not anything really outstanding, although i recently had the  Tudor brewery offering 'Blorenge' which was pretty good

Best UK Bottled Beer - Marble 'Lagonda IPA' , absolute quality.

Best Welsh Bottled Beer - Untapped 'Eclipse'

Best Overseas Draught Beer - when i go oversea's i'll let you know!

Best Overseas Bottled Beer - Anchor 'Porter' was pretty amazing i thought, i'm late to the party i know!

Best Overall Beer - Actually i loved the M&S Cornish IPA which i know is their labeled version by St. Austell brewery, i've not tried their 'original' yet, but its way of bouncing flavour around your mouth was unbeatable. 
Best Welsh Pumpclip or Label - Untapped 'Eclipse'
Pub/Bar of the Year & Beer Festival of the Year - well i know i dont get out much but my few visits to The Boars Head  have been pretty good, and i've another planned soon. 
Supermarket of the Year - well its was sainsbury's until they just canceled our xmas online shop this week because of a little fucking snow, with no alternative slot offered - so its goes to Morrison's who for the first 6 months really tried i thought, did get a little dull later in the year though. Keep up with the Brewdogbeers though guys.
Independent Retailer of the Year - Cardiff Discount Supermarket
Online Retailer of the Year - i've not actually bought from an online retailer this year, except picking up a Brewdog Abstract 04 from some guy on Ebay, and at cost price too! so Ebay gets the award.
Best Beer Book or Magazine - Camra's  'Beer'

Best Beer Blog or Website - my go to blogs are Beer Nut, Cooking Lager, the Baron, Blog o' Beer, Robs beer quest. For sheer enjoyment it has to be Cooking Lager, joint winner with Real brewing at the Sharp End

Best Brewery Online - Brewdog, i mean most others barely update monthly.

Food and Beer Pairing of the Year - crisps and beer is the best.

In 2011 I’d Most Like To…obviously drink more new beers, get to the pub more, when on my cornwall holiday to do a brewery tour with the guys. Get into Cardiff to the Artisan brewery to try their bottles.

Cheers, merry christmas to all who read this stuff!!!

Edit - not sure what gone wrong with the formatting on this one, cannot seem to correct it????!!!!

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

The Durham Brewery - Cloister

I have had one beer from the Durham Brewery before, a bottle of St. Cuthbert, which was a very enjoyable very hoppy IPA.
Cloister is a 4.5% bitter, a lovely golden yellow in colour with beautiful fluffy big head, see the picture below.
There is a bright fresh hoppy aroma, a little floral too. Wonderful citrus hops and balanced malt undertone, and bitterness that flows down the throat. This is a really good beer, although it kinda cooled down with all its intensity as the pint went on quite noticeably. Still very enjoyable and i'll keep an eye out for their beer's.

Monday, 20 December 2010

Daleside Monkey Wrench

Daleside  brewery from Harrogate, North Yorkshire produce a bottle called Monkey Wrench, a 'strong ale' with an abv of 5.3%.
I enjoyed this, especially after a few disappointing drinks recently, it was a good solid pint, good weight in the mouth, satisfying.
A beer dark ruby in colour with an aroma of caramel and plum, creamy head as you see above. Taste is raisins, milky chocolate, sweet toffee malts, and has a light carbonation that works well. Great balanced bitterness too.
It went down well this one!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Burton Bridge Brewery Santa's Christmas Porter

From the Burton Bridge Brewery, better known probably for their Empire Ale, is this xmas offering.

I like the label for a start, simple, good Christmas red and a nice Santa having a glug.
Pours a dark brown with a frothy creamy off-white head. Aroma of light coffee and malt, and a bit woody also. Reasonable mouthfull, not too thin, dryness with a light bitterness and hints of strong rich fruits. Overall its okay, nothing stands out in it but its quite drinkable.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Bath ales Golden Hare

After a couple of mentions here and here about Bath ales recently, and that generally they were all pretty good, i gladly picked up their Golden Hare from sainsburys recently and cracked it open. As i was on the phone at the time to my friend Dougie, supplier of beers on occasion, he got a live review. Fair to say though i dont think he'll pick this one up himself after what i gurgled down the line.

Golden Hare, a 4.4% golden ale, initially a spring seasonal but now year round i think, and certainly golden in colour,with a small head that soon dissipated. Grassy and buttery aroma, and a heavy butterscotch taste, oily in the mouth. However i only got a third down before i poured it away as the butterscotch was so strong and sickly i really was not enjoying it.

Still its only one beer out of their range that is otherwise pretty good stuff and i would recommend trying.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Old Bear's Christmas Pudding

Took another run to the Cardiff  'beer shop' today for a few xmas treats, and i picked up amongst others an Anchor Steam beer, a Rochefort 8 and an Orvel, and a Samuel Smith Taddy Porter. Here's a couple of shots from inside, predominately British beers on the left photo, and Belgium ones the right.

I'm starting off tonight though with a beer from The Old Bear brewery from Yorkshire, the foil covered cap gives a little xmas feel to it straight away.
Its their 'Christmas Pudding' a bottle conditioned 4.6% copper brown ale, which has a yeasty aroma along with a sharpness. Taste wise you have sweet rich fruit, sultanas i thought, and a dry bitterness. It was okay but i was not really that impressed, my enjoyment went as i got further down the glass.

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Leffe Blonde Gift Pack

Stuck for a Christmas present for a beer loving friend? I just picked up yesterday from Aldi this Leffe Blonde 330ml tube gift pack which includes a nice branded glass, quite a solid one too, all for £3.99. A bargin indeed, and i already have someone in mind for the second one i bought.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

bit of a beer round up no.1

I've been busy, or working nights, or the wife is using the computer, so a few beers over the last couple of weeks have escaped being blogged about so i thought a round up post was in order. 

Lets start with a goody.
Fullers 'Golden Pride'  (8.5% abv) was picked up at Waitrose a while back, a beautiful reddish brown colour with lovely aroma of berries and caramel. 
Full bodied in the mouth, a little oily too, warmth and reasonable amount of alcohol come through with flavors of sugars and rich fruit, a bit malty with a dryness also. Really good.

From Scotland and quite well known, and usually found in beer collection books, next was Williams Brothers Kelpie seaweed ale. I don't know if its the suggestion after reading books and reviews but the fresh sea breeze aroma really is there! A dark ale with a light salty chocolate taste, earthy aroma and taste also, this was a different beer one i would have again but not frequently i think, could become a little monotonous on the palate.

Fullers Chiswick bitter was a new one on me, and a very pleasant introduction was made. Small creamy white head, beautiful fresh orange pithy bitter aroma. Good malty and hop balance, crisp and some dryness also, lovely beer.


After really enjoying the Anchor Porter a while back i was quite looking forward to their Liberty ale that i bought at the same time. A yellowy orange in colour and good creamy head on top. Quite bitter but not a sharp fresh bitterness, its quite a heavy body in the mouth and lasts, ?some pine. I was a little disappointed with this, i was expecting to be wow'd like when tasting their porter or when i first had Sierra Nevada's Pale ale, but its still a good complex beer.

The last of the beers i picked up at the Cowbridge festival this year was Otley's O-HO-HO which i assume is their Xmas beer from the title. Thus i also assume it would be rich fruity dark ale like most other Xmas/winter ales, so was pleasantly surprised when i poured a fresh orange'gold coloured beer with a minimal head. Immediate light aroma of sweet oranges, like pulling satsuma's out of your stocking!! Dry, citrus hops, a crisp beer with hints of spice and a delight to drink. Made me rethink what a Christmas ale should be really, although i would be just as happy to drink this on a hot summers day, it would be a real thirst quencher i believe.

Friday, 3 December 2010

The Boar's Head in Tyla Garw, South Wales

The Boar's Head in Tyla Garw, South Wales was the destination for a final few beers of a condemned man, my friend Rob who gets married this weekend. I blogged about their great beer festival back in September, and last time the missus and i tried to get a table on a friday night it was jam packed in there, no space left.
So last monday we met up, and headed down icy back lanes on a short cut toTyla Garw and settled at a table next to a nice open fire. As you can see from the photos they obviously had just had a delivery from Bath ales!  On tap was Bath's Gem, Wild Hare, Spa and Festivity, RCH Pitchfork, Tudor Blorenge, Wadworth 6X, and the empty pump soon had Felinfoel Stout on.

As one of my recent posts was about Bath's 'Festivity' porter, very enjoyable it was too, i pounced on the cask version to compare. Its body seemed fuller against the bottle version, and more pronounced smoke and coffee came across, excellent pint taken warmly next to a fire - ideal in this weather.
Next up was the RCH 'Pitchfork', which i have had as a bottle but couldn't remember what i thought. A fresh zesty drink, lightly floral and bittersweet, this went down very quickly. Baths 'Spa' was one i have not tried before, a golden ale which was sharply bitter, grassy aroma and peachy, very nice indeed.

I moved onto the Tudor offering Blorenge, from a welsh microbrewery based at the 'Kings Arms' in Abergavenny. They say its a 'session beer at 3.8% abv Appeals to the lager drinker if chilled 2 degrees below normal cask temperature. Lads and Lasses love it. Wonderful with hot curries and spiced dishes' which is an interesting description, but dont it dissuade you its rather good. Golden in colour, biscuity malt and refreshing floral aroma, its dry and leaves you wanting another.

I finished off with the Bath Gem, a nice bitter, nutty and malty, always satisfying.

Excellent evening, the pubs great, the lady behind the bar was polite and friendly, you should go there.